About this Course
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Flexible deadlines

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Beginner Level

Approx. 26 hours to complete

English

Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Indonesian, English, Romanian

Skills you will gain

Essay WritingHistoryEnglish LanguageChinese Language

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level

Approx. 26 hours to complete

English

Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Indonesian, English, Romanian

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
4 hours to complete

Introduction to Linguistics

14 videos (Total 74 min), 7 readings, 1 quiz
14 videos
Human Language and Animal Communication Systems6m
Human Language Versus Other 'Languages'9m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: Language Diversity9m
Language Diversity and Ethnologue8m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: What do Linguists do?13m
Interview with Dr. Victoria Nyst10m
Introduction language informants + introducing Han Hu, Speaker of Mandarin Chinese4m
Introducing Roberta D'Alessandro, speaker of Abruzzese48s
Introducing Khalid Mourigh, speaker of Tarifit Berber51s
Introducing Varun DeCastro-Arrazola, speaker of Basque1m
Introducing Beste Sevindik, speaker of Turkish1m
Introducing Enoch Aboh, speaker of Gungbe1m
Conclusion; language and dialect2m
7 readings
Meet the instructor & his team5m
Leiden University: Facts & Figures10m
Study tips for studying online5m
Community Guidelines 5m
What is your learning path?5m
Registration Ethnologue10m
Required and optional readings30m
1 practice exercise
Test your knowledge 124m
Week
2
2 hours to complete

The study of sound: Phonology and Phonetics

13 videos (Total 62 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
13 videos
Production of speech sounds7m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: consonants of world languages8m
Sounds in systems7m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: sounds and language change11m
Interview with Prof. dr. Claartje Levelt7m
Introduction + Tarifit Berber4m
Gungbe1m
Turkish1m
Abruzzese1m
Mandarin Chinese1m
Basque1m
Conclusion; sounds and gestures1m
1 reading
Required and optional readings30m
1 practice exercise
Test your knowledge 224m
Week
3
5 hours to complete

The study of words and sentences: Morphology and Syntax

14 videos (Total 86 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
14 videos
Morphology9m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: world of words11m
Syntax and word order (a)8m
Syntax and word order (b)5m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: world of word order8m
Interview with Prof. Noam Chomsky28m
Introduction + Basque3m
Tarifit Berber2m
Gungbe1m
Turkish58s
Abruzzese1m
Mandarin Chinese55s
Conclusion; structure beyond sentences1m
1 reading
Required and optional readings1h
1 practice exercise
Test your knowledge 324m
Week
4
3 hours to complete

The study of meaning: Pragmatics and Semantics

13 videos (Total 66 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
13 videos
Semantics7m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: color and snow10m
Pragmatics11m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: changing the world with sentences9m
Interview with Barend Beekhuizen MA11m
Introduction + Abruzzese1m
Tarifit Berber1m
Turkish1m
Basque52s
Mandarin Chinese2m
Gungbe1m
Conclusion; untranslatable words?1m
2 readings
Required and optional readings1h
Quiz readings10m
1 practice exercise
Test your knowledge 424m
4.7
334 ReviewsChevron Right

47%

started a new career after completing these courses

24%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top reviews from Miracles of Human Language: An Introduction to Linguistics

By DCSep 24th 2017

Extremely informational, well presented, with questions that stimulate reflection. The optional reading material is food for thought. I hope to see more courses from the same professor and University.

By SSMar 22nd 2019

I've taken a number of online courses on linguistics now, and this one was by and far the best. The material covered is indepth and engaging, and the professor's enthusiam makes the videos a delight.

Instructor

Avatar

Marc van Oostendorp

Prof. Dr
Meertens instituut

About Universiteit Leiden

Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia. Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands. It was founded in February 1575, as a gift from William of Orange to the citizens of Leiden after they had withstood a long siege by the Spanish. Our motto is: Praesidium Libertatis — Bastion of Liberty....

About Meertens instituut (KNAW)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.